Our procurement strategy and criteria for awarding tenders
Our procurement strategy sets out our approach to the use of competition and how it will procure works, goods and services. We have long been committed to open competition for the purchasing of supplies and large scale works in order to achieve cost-effective procurement and avoid allegations of corruption or favouritism. This has helped to achieve national recognition as a value for money organisation.
We also contract with a number of local and national voluntary organisations. Our preferred approach is to use contractual agreements which clarify the role and responsibilities of each party as opposed to a grant model. As a rule, we use competitive procurement as the method of selecting voluntary sector providers to deliver services on its behalf and, in many instances, they are awarded contracts after competition with private sector providers. In other instances, it may be necessary to negotiate agreement outside a competitive framework because the voluntary sector organisation is the only suitable provider.
Our established policy has favoured an award procedure based on the lowest price tender although, on occasions, the most economically advantageous tender (MEAT) approach has been followed and may result in a decision to award the tender to a contractor who has not offered the lowest price.
Where the basis of the award is MEAT the criteria and associated weighting for the award of all tenders must be simply and clearly stated in order of importance and, for the most part, will focus on tender price; the most common reason to award to a higher priced tenderer will relate to an evaluation of quality and technical merit.
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